The assumption that in a democracy, governments do the best for their electors seems a joke these days. The best example is the revamping of the Algarve’s EN125 which is using a totally outdated technique and is increasing, not limiting, the number of accidents in the Algarve.
In the meanwhile the broad and expensive A22 is almost empty and is being used less than ever.
Roundabouts were a recommendation by the EEC and environmental organisations some 45 years ago. Nowadays mini-radars and sensors measure traffic flow in each direction at crossings and stop or give the green light depending on the size and number of approaching vehicles. This optimises the flow and reduces unnecessary stops.
For decades, roads in northern Europe have had three lines of traffic, one in each direction and a third which alternates between the two and make it possible securely to overtake a slow truck or bus. Every two kilometers there is a sign advising that within a kilometer of so, there will be a third lane.
Vehicles needing to turn across the road follow the traffic to a turnaround area where they can make a secure manoeuvre.
For decades most of northern European regional roads equivalent to the EN125 have a bicycle lane on one side and a walkway on the other.
The current revamping of the EN125 is a very old project which seems to be making it worse than before in order to force drivers onto the now almost empty A22 and pay the high tolls.
Although Algarvians have continuously been making proposals to adjust both the toll fees and road design, government has been totally ignoring a logical system.
The death toll on the EN125 will increase as the summer tourists increase the traffic volume, making it more probable that professionals, who must use the road to meet their clients in different council areas, take risks when overtaking other vehicles.
Who is responsible for those deaths and unnecessary accidents and delays? What can we citizens do in this so-called democracy? Do we need another electoral system? Do we need a clever dictator with four ears and half a mouth, instead of the current four mouths and only half an ear?
Will the famous Luxembourg former soft-tax PM continue to give EU taxpayers’ money for old-fashioned road upgrades in order to make large foreign contractors even richer at the cost of our lives?
Jack Soifer, 2017